Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Atlanta leads 1-0 (as of 6/30)

Game 1: Friday, June 30
Baltimore3Final
Atlanta5
Game 2: Saturday, July 1
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Atlanta4
Game 3: Sunday, July 2
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Atlanta10

Orioles 3

(37-44, 13-23 away)

Braves 5

(34-46, 15-20 home)

    7:35 PM ET, June 30, 2006

    Turner Field, Atlanta, Georgia 

    123456789 R H E
    BAL 000003000 3 7 0
    ATL 11001200 - 5 7 0

    W: C. James (2-0)

    L: K. Birkins (2-1)

    S: J. Sosa (2)

    Giles helps Braves end miserable June on upbeat note

    ATLANTA (AP) -- Chuck James wasn't too happy with his second major league start when he left the game.

    Marcus Giles' clutch hit and the Atlanta Braves' bullpen made him feel much better.

    Giles broke a sixth-inning tie with a two-run single and James won his second straight start as the Braves ended a miserable June with a 5-3 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night.

    "I didn't feel like that start was as good as I would like it," James said after giving up seven hits and three runs in six innings.

    But relievers Chad Paronto, Ken Ray and Jorge Sosa finished without allowing a hit and walking one in three innings as the Braves won at home for the first time since June 6.

    The Braves avoided their worst winning percentage in a month since they moved to Atlanta. They finished with a 6-21 (.223) record in June, including 2-12 in home games. They were 4-17 (.190) in April 1988.

    The six wins were a new Atlanta low for a full month (May through September) in a season.

    "I can't even remember the last roll we were on," said Braves first baseman Adam LaRoche, who hit his 13th homer. "That's what happens when you are on a long drought."

    The Braves, coming off a 3-3 road trip, hope the addition of James to the rotation is part of the solution.

    The rookie left-hander shut out the Orioles through five innings before giving up sixth-inning homers to Jeff Conine and Corey Patterson. But James (2-0) got the win when the Braves answered with two runs in the bottom of the inning.

    James had five strikeouts and two walks.

    "He worked fast and threw strikes," Baltimore manager Sam Perlozzo said of James. "I thought he was hittable, but we just didn't do it. Obviously, he's a pretty good pitcher."

    James allowed only two hits in eight shutout innings in a 4-1 win at Tampa Bay last Sunday in his first start.

    "This is great for him and great for us," LaRoche said. "This is good timing. He's been great. He's a competitor out there."

    Former longtime Braves pitching coach Leo Mazzone made his first return to Atlanta since taking the same position with the Orioles in the offseason. He declined to comment after the game.

    Sosa pitched the ninth for his second save, working around a leadoff walk to Nick Markakis, who had three hits.

    "Our bullpen picked James up, big-time," Braves manager Bobby Cox said.

    The Braves took a 1-0 lead off Daniel Cabrera in the first. Giles led off with a walk and scored on Edgar Renteria's double to the gap in right-center.

    LaRoche led off the second inning with his homer, a shot that landed in the first row of the seats in right, barely clearing the wall.

    Cabrera retired 11 of Atlanta's next 12 batters before giving up a walk to Renteria with two outs in the fifth. Renteria stole second and scored on Chipper Jones' double to wall in left for a 3-0 lead.

    Cabrera gave up three runs and three hits with four walks in five innings.

    The Orioles broke through with back-to-back homers off James to tie the game in the sixth inning.

    After Miguel Tejada's leadoff single, Conine's two-run homer, his seventh, cut the lead to 3-2. Patterson, an Atlanta native, followed with his ninth homer, a high drive that almost hit the foul pole in right.

    "Maybe he got a little tired," Cox said of James. "He started getting the ball around the middle of the plate."

    The Braves loaded the bases in the sixth against left-handed reliever Kurt Birkins (2-1), who walked Scott Thorman after giving up singles to Brian McCann and LaRoche. Todd Williams, Baltimore's second reliever of the inning, struck out pinch-hitter Matt Diaz, but Giles hit a two-run single to left for a 5-3 lead.

    Game notes


    The Braves finished with no more than six wins in a month for only the fifth time since moving to Atlanta in 1966 and the first time since a 4-13 record in April 1990. ... James made seven relief appearances before his first start. ... Tejada played in his 999th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the majors.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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